Wall of Text
incoming; some sections still lacking content, but otherwise it's complete for now.
Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Corphish [#341]
- Crawdaunt [#342]
(scientific name Latrohomarus acutunguis pestis
) is a diminutive crustacean Pokémon with eight limbs, a durable red carapace which covers most of its body, two large eyes, a broad-finned tail and three prominent cranial horns. Three pairs of its limbs are small legs, which it uses to scuttle about on land and underwater with equal ease, while the final two limbs consist of a pair of stubby arms which terminate in enormous claws; these pincers are so large that they almost eclipse the creature’s head in size and thickness, and their jagged edges are incredibly sharp. Their large white eyes are fairly simplistic organs, and though they allow Corphish to see well enough during the day while out of the water, they are decidedly less acute in the darkness of its aquatic environment; as such, it relies upon its three cranial horns—actually a set of rigid antennae which are particularly sensitive to subtle vibrations and changes in the currents—to perceive its environment.
The underside of the creature’s body, which is far softer than its durable dorsal armour, is of a cream colouration rather than red; the lower parts of its claws and the first segments of its limbs share this hue, and correspondingly the exoskeleton is not as thick in these areas as in the red segments. Why Corphish would be coloured in such a way as to draw attention to its vulnerable regions is a question that continues to vex Pokebiologists to this day. Though it would appear otherwise, Corphish does indeed possess a mouth, one which features a small tongue yet no teeth; this orifice is located at the point where the vertex of its chevron-like upper carapace meets the segmented bands of its cream underbelly, and is concealed by a small flap which recedes when it is eating or in the process of expelling water for its attacks.
The second and final stage of this Pokémon’s lifecycle, Crawdaunt
(L. a. barbarus
), greatly resembles its juvenile form, but is more menacing in appearance—its colouration is darker than that of Corphish, and several of its limbs now sport dangerous-looking spikes. Perhaps the most significant change to the species’ morphology is the reduction of its total number of limbs; maturation has seen the two hindmost pairs of legs fused together into a single pair of broad, elephantine feet with two claws, giving Crawdaunt a very bizarre and unbalanced-looking gait; the remaining two legs are largely unchanged, save for the addition of two spikes, and help to stabilize the creature’s centre of mass when it is out of the water. The crustacean’s arms and claws have developed significantly, with the arms now made up of two segments and protruding from a pair of prominent shoulders; the edges of its claws are much smoother now, and the upper mandibles now sport four spikes—two on either side—that point downward and act as teeth, biting into anything caught in the creature’s grasp to prevent its escape.
Crawdaunt’s eyes are much smaller in relation to its overall body mass than those of Corphish, and are deeply recessed, most likely to protect them from injury; these organs are surrounded by bands of soft black tissue which serve to attract more light to them, improving the line’s lacklustre underwater vision. A strangely-shaped band of red armour now divides the organism’s soft underbelly into two parts corresponding to the abdomen and the cephalothorax, and the latter now features a pair of inverted blue chevrons which can and have been mistaken as the lips of a mouth; the purpose of this strange decoration remains unknown. Finally, the three horns it possessed as Corphish have fused together into a yellow crest in the shape of a five-pointed star; this organ appears to fulfill much the same purpose as the antennae which preceded it, and may have other functions as well.
As with many Pokémon, the Corphish line is known to possess a mutant phenotype which affects less than one percent of the species; individuals with this mutation have dull pink carapaces as Corphish and bright orange carapaces as Crawdaunt, with the latter also possessing violet chevrons rather than blue. Such specimens are incredibly rare, and as a result they are highly prized by collectors.
An incredibly hardy species of Pokémon, the Corphish line is often said to be able to thrive in almost any environment; it has even been observed to live in streams which have been heavily polluted by industrial runoff without suffering any ill effects, despite not being a Poison-type Pokémon. Its ability to thrive in such a toxic environment is due to a complex gill structure which filters any impurities from the water, allowing Corphish and its evolved form to breathe safely without any risk of being poisoned by pollutants; as such, the species can thrive in areas that would be inhospitable to most other aquatic Pokémon.
Like most Water-type Pokémon, the Corphish line possesses a special water bladder that allows it to perform a variety of hydrokinetic attacks and techniques; however, this organ is not as potent or fully-developed as that found in some other species of aquatic Pokémon like Squirtle or Totodile, and as a result members of this line are limited to blowing bubbles without specialized training or the use of technical machines. That said, both stages of the line do possess aquagenic and umbragenic cells in their pincers, allowing them to make use of certain physically-based Dark-type attacks, and sufficiently-advanced specimens will be able to surround their claws with a semisolid sphere of water to increase the bludgeoning force of their attacks.
Like almost all arthropod Pokémon, the carapace of a Corphish or Crawdaunt does not grow with their body; as such, both stages of the line must regularly undergo a process called ecdysis—otherwise known as moulting—in order to shed their old, tight exoskeletons and allow a newer, larger one to grow in its place. The cuticle is pale and soft for some time after this process has been performed, leaving the creature relatively vulnerable until hardens; this can take little more than an hour for Corphish, but Crawdaunt may require anywhere between five and eight hours for their new exoskeleton to harden sufficiently, and during this time they will bury themselves in small burrows to avoid being attacked by rivals or predators.
Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of this line, however, is that Corphish and Crawdaunt do not seem to slow down, weaken or lose fertility with age; in fact, research has shown that older specimens of this line are actually stronger and more fertile than younger ones. Pokébiologists now believe that this negligible senescence may be the result of a unique enzyme, called telomerase, which repairs certain DNA sequences at the end of the creature’s chromosomes; because of this, it has been determined that these crustaceans can live up to a hundred years barring injury or disease, and could potentially live forever…but given their belligerent behaviour, few wild members of the line survive to reach such venerable ages.
The Corphish line is divided into three subspecies, which are differentiated from one another by certain traits that only become apparent during battle; the first subspecies is characterised by the presence of certain enamels and resins which prevent the edges of its pincers from growing dull, effectively making it impossible to blunt the force of its physical attacks, and the second features a reinforced exoskeleton that is nearly impossible to crack from sudden applications of force—in short, this particular strain sacrifices the improved offensive ability of the first for a superior defence. The third strain, which was discovered only recently, instead demonstrates a remarkable ability to adapt to the conditions of any environment to an even greater extent than other members of this already-hardy species, thus allowing it to maximize the potency of its water- and umbrate-based attacks.
Though they were first discovered in the Hoenn region, the Corphish line is not native to that land; it is an invasive species, a pest that was brought to the continent decades ago under mysterious circumstances and which has since firmly entrenched itself into Hoenn’s ecosystem. Large numbers of them have infested the rivers and ponds of that region’s Routes 102 and 117, and they have often been hooked by fishermen wishing to catch Marill or Goldeen from the public lakes of Petalburg City. Corphish populations have also been encountered in Sinnoh’s Celestic Town and on the eastern peninsula of the Unova Region, and a stable population has been introduced to the Johto Safari Zone.
Crawdaunt are much more elusive in the wild than their young, and to date the only place where these creatures can be reliably encountered is in the lakes and ponds of Celestic Town, which they share, albeit reluctantly, with Corphish and a variety of other aquatic Pokémon. Curiously, despite having established themselves in the majority of the world’s regions neither stage of this line has ever been encountered in Kanto or the Sevii Islands; less surprising is the fact that no wild populations are known to exist in Orre, showing that even these hardy creatures find that arid wasteland difficult to tolerate.
Though all of these Corphish populations have been found only in standing bodies of freshwater, it is hypothesized that there may also be large numbers of them living far out at sea deep beneath the ocean. No conclusive evidence has ever been found, unfortunately, though this has not discouraged that particular line of thinking.
Not selective feeders by any stretch of the imagination, the Corphish line is omnivorous with a markedly carnivorous slant; they will eat anything and everything that they can get their claws on, regardless of whether it is dead or alive, and they have no qualms about attacking creatures far larger than themselves in lean times. In the wild their diet varies by location, but they typically feed on various piscine Pokémon like Magikarp, Goldeen and Barboach, which they capture and kill using their large pincers.
That said, they are perfectly capable of subsisting on berries and other forms of Pokémon food, which they do without complaint; as a consequence of their remarkable adaptability, Corphish and Crawdaunt do not have any real preferences when it comes to their meals and will take whatever they can get.
Though relatively small by the standards of most Pokémon (Corphish measure sixty centimetres in length and weighs eleven-point-five kilograms on average, while Crawdaunt measures one hundred and ten centimetres and weighs thirty-two-point-eight kilograms), wild members of the Corphish line are not to be underestimated; as a whole this species is remarkably territorial, surly and ill-tempered, and they will quickly become aggressive if they feel that their claim to the area is threatened. Corphish will attempt to intimidate intruders by snapping their claws at them and giving them threatening looks, and should this tactic fail they will then attempt to goad the intruder into a fight, attacking them regardless of whether or not their ‘challenge’ has been accepted; in such a battle the Corphish will rely primarily on physical attacks by bludgeoning or pinching its adversary with its pincers, and given the durability and sharpness of these organs they can easily inflict serious injuries on an unwary human. They can also spew streams of bubbles from their mouths, which pop with a surprising amount of force; older specimens can expel these bubbles in a powerful torrent so that they strike their target with much more force and may slow them down from sheer volume.
Crawdaunt are even more territorial than their younger kin, to the point that once they have chosen a pond or stream as its territory the creature will then kill or drive off any other Pokémon that might have been living there at the time, and it is constantly on alert for any threats to its dominance. They will immediately attack anything that enters their domain without attempting to frighten it away first, and because of this behaviour it is not unheard of for people to have been severely injured or even killed when they went to soak their toes in a nearby pond only for a furious Crawdaunt to lunge out of the water at them with no warning whatsoever. Its capabilities are much the same as those of its juvenile form, albeit far stronger, and the crustacean can also fire star-shaped rays of energy from the crest on its head; these bolts track their targets unerringly, and cannot miss under normal circumstances.
Both stages of this line prefer to use techniques and tactics frequently described as underhanded; wild specimens rarely fight fair, attack their opponents relentlessly without giving them any time to rest or recuperate, and will attempt to exploit any advantage, opening or sign of weakness that they can see as soon as possible. They will also goad enemies into recklessly attacking them with offensive taunts, and may slap berries or other items straight out of an opponent’s hand if they attempt to make use of them. Finally, some of the strongest specimens of either stage have displayed a disturbing tendency to go for the throat with their pincers, attempting to choke them into unconsciousness; this particular attack is extremely dangerous for, if performed improperly, the Corphish or Crawdaunt could end up decapitating its opponent, and as such its usage is expressly forbidden in most official Pokémon tournaments.
Being Water-type Pokémon, both stages of this line are resistant to fire-, ice- and metal-based attacks, and Crawdaunt also has the added benefit of being completely immune to psionic abilities along with resistances to umbrate and phantasmal attacks. These traits can make the Corphish line a dangerous opponent for the unwary Trainer, but fortunately they share the vulnerability to electricity and plant-based attacks common to all aquatic Pokémon species, and Crawdaunt is additionally vulnerable to aura-based abilities and those used by certain strains of insectoid Pokémon; as such, it would be wise to have a Pokémon that knows moves of those types on hand if one is venturing through an area inhabited by Corphish and its evolved form.
Courting and Childrearing
In Human Society
Thanks in no small part to their extremely aggressive behaviour, willingness to ‘fight dirty’ and their very nature as an invasive species, it should come as no surprise that Corphish and Crawdaunt have garnered a decidedly negative reputation over the years; in Hoenn, for example, they are seen as bullies and pests which could potentially overrun the ecosystem with their violent territoriality and explosive rate of reproduction. In some decidedly xenophobic circles, this has led the unfortunate creatures to be used as a metaphor for illegal immigrants; that said, this view is by no means widespread.
The region’s government has been looking into humane ways of stemming the species’ dangerous population growth, with some suggesting the introduction of some manner of biological agent designed to limit the number of viable egg fertilizations, but the ethics of using such an agent—along with the logistical nightmare of ensuring total distribution, along with the ramifications of what might happen should it be able to affect other species of Pokémon—have made the odds of said agent ever actually getting deployed astronomically low.
Despite their reputation as ruffians, the Corphish line is nevertheless highly prized by certain members of the scientific community for its longevity; it is believed in some circles that the DNA-repairing enzymes in the crustacean’s chromosomes might be the key to understanding the secrets of aging, and some have argued that understanding this trait might be the first step to attain human immortality. Though the latter claim is often dismissed as crock, the first is a valid theory, and to that end Hoenn researchers will pay handsomely for healthy specimens to use as test subjects.
In the Unova region, the Corphish line has served as the basis for a species of aggressive and highly adaptive aliens in a popular series of science-fiction roleplaying games; like Corphish itself, these aliens are often seen as pests and scavengers by the other races of the galaxy, but despite their love of combat and violent behaviour most of them simply wish to be left alone.
And there we have it; any thoughts?